Hybrid propulsion – future micro-launchers

Hybrid rocket engines have the future and they are in the phase of intense research and development. Hon. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ognjan Božić, an A3 member, led until this year  the DLR team that develops that aspect of rocket propulsion. The report on the work on the project has been published on the DLR website.

„In the spring of 2019, the innovative hybrid rocket engine “AHRES-B” was successfully tested on the test bench “block of four” at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Trauen. For the researchers a special reason to enjoy, because hybrid rocket engines are not only fundamentally cheaper and safer than conventional rocket engines, AHRES-B is also significantly more effective than all its predecessors. The current test has shown that the technological development of hybrid rocket engines is now well advanced enough to be used, for example, on sounding rockets.

The advantage: hybrid rocket engines are combinations of solid and liquid engines and combine the best features of both engine types. The liquid oxygen carrier – in this case highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide – and the solid fuel HTPB (hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene) are initially separated in AHRES-B and only meet in the combustion chamber. As a result, there is no risk of explosion during storage and operation. In addition, the substances used are non-toxic and not harmful to the environment.“